If facing a felony or misdemeanor charge, you are a first-time offender, and the circumstances of your case warrant a Pretrial Diversion (misdemeanor) or Pretrial Intervention (felony) offer from the State Attorney, you are in a position to have your charges dismissed.
However, you and your attorney must decide whether a diversion program is in your best interest.
In nearly all cases, it will be beneficial for you to accept a diversion program. A diversion program is not considered a guilty plea, therefore you do not have to admit guilt or accept a penalty that could deprive you of civil rights in the future. Diversion is merely an agreement between the State Attorney and the accused whereby the accused agrees to fulfill certain conditions and upon completion of those conditions, the State Attorney will dismiss the charges.
However, in some instances, you may be required to complete a statement of responsibility, where you must admit to your guilt in order to complete the program. Some people, who may be factually innocent of their alleged crimes, have a moral objection to this and may refuse to enter into a diversion program should this be a requirement.
Also, there may be instances in which it is highly likely that charges could be dismissed without having to complete a diversion program. The best example may be a domestic violence case where the State Attorney cannot prove the case independently and the alleged victim is unwilling to prosecute. In this situation, diversion may not be the best option given the intensive requirements of domestic violence diversion (much different that ordinary diversion).
Only you and your attorney know the facts of your case. Diversion is most often going to be your best option in a case, but there are somewhat rare instances in which it may not be.
If you are diversion eligible but wish to explore other options, speak with a criminal defense attorney.